Board of Directors
Joan once wrote her six-word memoir as ‘wants to tread lightly, travel far’. She is a Geographer (read: explorer), specializing in sustainable food systems and climate justice. Joan earned her PhD from UW with a dissertation on women’s work in NCW’s apple industry and has been teaching at WVC for 23 years. She developed a new Introduction to Sustainability course and trained with Al Gore to become a Climate Reality Leader. “Above all, I am a mother of two biological sons and an adopted daughter, so I want to meet our needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs!”
Jenny has called the Wenatchee Valley home for over 10 years. “I see so much good in Sustainable NCW’s community reach and relatable approach to environmental issues. Sustainability truly allows me to expand my creativity and that’s something I want to share. It opens my mind and challenges me to build things, grow my food and buy less. As a board member I am committed to share projects, my efforts to limit waste in my home, tidbits of my plant based diet, a window into volunteer work and a continued support to our tread lightly businesses. If we ease into change and eliminate fear, we can make a difference together. Every little bit counts.” Jenny works as LocelTel's Communications Provisioning Department & Field Manager.
Betsy, a transplant from the Midwest, is a self-employed landscape horticulturist and designer. She grew up gardening, camping, hiking, and canoeing. “My parents taught us to enjoy and appreciate nature. My earliest memories are of being in the veggie garden with my mom. My dad taught me how to canoe as well as compost, prune, and dig a Christmas tree. I still remember our Saturday morning trips to the recycling center.” Betsy grew up in northeast Ohio but has also lived in central Indiana, northern Virginia, The Netherlands, and upstate New York. “I think landscapes should bring people and nature closer together. Landscapes should be havens for people and wildlife.”
Lauren grew up in the Chicago-land area, earned her degrees in Biology and Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and returned home for medical school at the University of Illinois. She currently works as a family physician at Columbia Valley Community Health. Lauren is honored to be a part of the Sustainable NCW board. She is passionate about “the little changes” that help our environment including decreasing single-use bags, containers and plasticware, buying green or secondhand clothing, books and other goods, and finding sustainable personal care products. "These ideas all seem overwhelming at first, but they really are achievable!" Lauren enjoys dancing, reading, music, traveling, learning how to hobby farm, and appreciating what Mother Nature has to teach us.
Elisa was born and raised in the Wenatchee area surrounded by apple and cherry orchards. Her favorite parts in Wenatchee have always been natural spaces such as trails, rivers, and parks. This sparked an interested in the environment for her and a sense of responsibility for it. She attended Washington State University and earned her degree in Zoology. Since then, Elisa has connected with many environmentally focused organizations and works with Team Naturaleza and the Chelan Douglas Land Trust. She's thankful to be able to share her passion for the outdoors with youth and bilingual families. Her hope is that her work will inspire the people she works with to also develop a sense of responsibility for the environment.
Cassie Bogdan Slemmer
Cassie has called Wenatchee home since 2017, originally hailing from the midwest. She studied to become a registered dietitian at Ohio State University and eventually become a PA-C. She now practices at Confluence Health. Her healthcare training has fostered an appreciation for what it means to care for a whole person, and the role that our priorities and environment play into that pursuit. The last few years, she has been practicing paying attention to the sourcing of goods, food and otherwise, and has been excited to buy local in the valley and practice simplicity. She is passionate about the outdoors and the connection between the health of our planet and the health of our selves, mentally and physically.
Rick has called the Wenatchee Valley home since 1988. He worked as a hydrologist for the U.S. Forest Service on the Payette National Forest in McCall, Idaho and here on the Okanogan-Wenatchee NF. Rick spent the last years of his USFS career as a grants and agreements specialist, helping staff glue together partnerships with other Federal, State and local agencies, Tribes and non-profits. That career shift was prompted by the experience of working on the development of the Entiat River Watershed Plan, during which he realized that he enjoyed helping stitch together environmentally-beneficial partnerships and projects for the benefit of all. Rick is a WSU Master Gardener which in part led him toward volunteering at the Wenatchee Rescue Mission to develop and implement a long-term landscape renovation plan for the Mission’s unique 5.8-acre property. Rick’s primary sustainable passion these days seems to be promoting things that will lead to the reduction of landfilling.
Raised in Wenatchee Valley, it took a trip across the Pacific and living in Hawaii to realize how much Jenaia took our beautiful valley for granted growing up with all that it offers. Jenaia is a science teacher at Wenatchee High School, with a master's degree in environmental science and conservation, who hopes to inspire students to appreciate our valley and become environmental stewards in our community. She is excited to be a board member of Sustainable NCW as this role aligns with her values and passion for the work within sustainability. In her off time, you can find her enjoying the loop trail, shopping at the farmer's markets, geocaching, reading, golfing, traveling, and constantly learning how to be a better steward of the earth.
Jana grew up in East Wenatchee. While in college at WSU (Go Cougs!) she learned about the severity of the climate crisis and became passionate about environmental sustainability. After earning her Master's in Environmental Studies from the Evergreen State College, she worked as Metro Parks Tacoma's first Sustainability Coordinator.
Jana returned to the Wenatchee Valley in 2016 and co-founded Sustainable Wenatchee (now Sustainable NCW) a year later. She is thrilled to be a part of the movement towards sustainability in her hometown. She was selected as one of the Wenatchee Valley Business World's "30 Under 35" in 2018.
Jana volunteers with Women's Service League of NCW and is active in her church. She enjoys camping in her family's tent trailer all over NCW with her husband, Tyler, and two young kids, and listening to live music, especially at the Gorge.